If you want your kids to eat and enjoy tofu, these crispy baked Tofu Nuggets are a great option to try. They’re super crunchy, perfect for dipping, and they’re loaded with plant-protein, iron, and calcium!
Crispy Tofu Nuggets
I know that tofu is not a food that everyone naturally loves, but as a former vegetarian, I happen to adore it—and it’s such an affordable protein source! Plus, it has a totally mellow flavor that works well in all sorts of recipes. These crunchy nuggets are a nice mix of textures and they’re fun for the kids to eat.
We love them dipped in ketchup as a main dish alongside a grain and a veggie. They’re also really good on top of salads or in tacos.
Tofu for Kids
Baking tofu can transform the soft texture into one that’s pleasantly crunchy and in nugget form. And this baked tofu recipe doesn’t use any oil or frying to achieve the pleasant crunch, but instead relies on panko breadcrumbs and a simple baking method that allows the entire nugget to crunch up without ever having to flip them over. (I do love easy cooking methods!)
If you have a toddler who doesn’t eat dairy and needs calcium, or who doesn’t eat meat and needs iron, this is a great tofu recipe to keep in mind.
Ingredients You Need
To make this recipes you’ll need:
- Extra-firm tofu
- Panko bread crumbs
- Garlic powder (optional)
TIP: Extra-firm tofu is key to the final texture in this recipe. Other types will wind up soft and not as much like a nugget.
Here’s a look at the process involved in making these healthy baked tofu nuggets. Scroll down to the bottom of this post see the full information.
- Drain the tofu between towels. Dice.
- Preheat the oven and place a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Set out your bowls for coating the tofu.
- Dredge the tofu cubes in the flour.
- Dredge the tofu cubes in the egg.
- Dredge the tofu in the panko.
- Place on the prepared rack. Bake!
TIP: Plan to start this at least an hour ahead of when you want to start cooking so the tofu has some time to drain.
Can I make these Tofu Nuggets gluten-free?
You absolutely can! Simply use gluten-free flour blend and gluten-free panko. They are delicious that way.
Can I make them without eggs?
I’ve heard that some people like to use mayo in place of eggs when dredging nuggets, so you can try that!
How can I reheat leftovers?
After storing leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, you’ll notice that they’ll be soft, not crunchy. To make them crunchy as they were when they were initially baked, warm them for 8-10 minutes in an 350 degree F oven. They’ll return to that crunchy exterior!
What should I serve these with?
We often have these with rice or pasta and a simple vegetable recipe. Or as the filling for tacos. We like to dip them in ketchup, ranch, and slightly warmed marinara sauce, so see what your family likes best!
Tips for Making the Best Tofu Nuggets
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, warm for 8-10 minutes in an 350 degree F oven.
- Be sure to drain the tofu well on towels to absorb excess moisture.
- Use extra-firm tofu for the best texture inside each nugget.
- Gluten-free: Use gluten-free panko breadcrumbs and gluten free cup-for-cup flour.
- Egg-free: Sub mayo for the egg.
- Serve with your kid’s favorite dip.
- Serve warm to ensure they’re crunchy when eaten.
I’d love to hear what you think of this recipe so please leave a comment or a question below!
Tofu is typically sold in 14-16 ounce blocks. If yours is 16 ounces, you may need 1 1/4 cup panko. The garlic powder is optional, but adds nice flavor.
- Remove the tofu from the package and place onto a towel-lined plate. Top with a second towel and a second plate. Let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. (This will absorb extra moisture.)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and place a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet. Coat the rack well with nonstick spray.
- Add the panko to a shallow dish or pie plate and stir in the garlic powder and salt.
- Break the eggs into another shallow dish and beat lightly.
- Add the flour to a third shallow dish and sprinkle with salt.
- Dredge the tofu cubes in the flour, then the egg, and then panko and place on the prepared rack. Spray lightly with nonstick spray.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes or until completely cooked through and lightly golden brown.
- Serve warm with dip like ketchup, Ranch, guacamole, or anything the kids like if desired.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, warm for 8-10 minutes in an 350 degree F oven.
Be sure to drain the tofu well on towels to absorb excess moisture.
Use extra-firm tofu for the best texture inside each nugget.
Egg-free: Sub mayo for the egg.
Serve with your kid’s favorite dip.
Serve warm to ensure they’re crunchy when eaten.